Forms 2.0 - Better forms without code

Forms 2.0 - Better forms without code

[Please add your comments below to help build a strong case]

Since the FORMS 2.0 idea from Glen Lipka has long been lost, it's time to bring it back and get it on the agenda.  It only been raised as an issue for 3 years and more than 2 versions of this community.  Even one of recent ideas from the community for the Amazing Race Idea was for form improvements: Form Widgets!.

Basically Forms need to be come way easier without manipulation through code.  There are a lot of small improvements that could be made to the form functionality that would be a great benefit to clients without access to a web developer skill set.  

At one time or another, I have had marketers request most of the following list of form improvements:

  • support for HTML5 form elements
  • allow pre-population on a field by field basis as a form designer attribute
  • allow text fields to optionally concatenate the new value with the existing data
  • field masking for phone, sin number etc.
  • add real-time (onblur) validation, validation test conditions and  contextual error msgs
    • email regex,
    • min and max for numbers etc. 
    • phone with or without extention
    • domain name for spam exclusion - i.e.
    • alpha-only for names/text fields
    • Automatic formating for proper case including whitespace trimming
  • better positioning of the field label and error msg
  • more form layouts in terms of 2-3 columns layouts as well as fields that can span the columns
  • more control over the submit button:
    • its style/image
    • dynamic button text both before and after click text to make the form reusable on more that one landing page within the landing page editor
    • enable/disable submit based upon required fields/validation
  • provide more advanced type of controls:
    • date pickers,
    • sliders (range),
    • dropdowns (combobox) with icons, option groups etc.
    • better support for checkboxes/radio with multi-select 
  • dependant selections or skip logic i.e. country/state and surveys
  • geo-ip support for country/state
  • automatic detection and support for iframes to get parent parameters, adjust the form's target = _top etc.
  • better (dynamic) follow up options - new windows, dynamic redirect based upon other form fields, parameters or cookies
  • Allow fields from SFDC objects other than contact and lead

Forms have been one of the least attended to areas of Marketo; it has literally been years since any significant improvements have been made while the competition has not been standing still waiting.

Below is a small list for just from this version of community:
Level 4
All the Marketo employees we've been talking to (minus the sales folks of course) have in some way acknowledged to us that Forms are a disaster. This is a known issue internally and yet there has been next to no response in this thread.

If the company won't respond here, then as users and customers we can take this issue to the social web and make sure the public is better informed about this limitation.

Voting this issue up here is good. Tweeting and blogging about it might even be better. Some of us are publishers and as such have a longer lever to press on. 
Not applicable
Nichole, you can modify the forms using the html box in the landing page builder. You don't see what the form will actually look like until you preview the page, though, so it can take some getting used to.

I use this guide when I need to do two column forms, and there's more that can be done if you have a programmer on hand.
Not applicable
When the form editor was first released 2007, it was pretty cool.  However, that was then and this is now.  I have been trying to prioritize this feature consistently internally, but haven't succeeded yet.  However, I believe that it the light at the end of the tunnel is coming.  There are a couple of things to do first:
  1. Performance.  We are doing a MAJOR performance improvement this year.  Like a 10X or more on smart lists and other parts of the app.
  2. Nurture Program.  Traffic cop is not easy (understatement) and nurture is so fundamental we needed to do something.  The design is finished on this and the engineering is starting.  This is going to be so useful and easy it will revolutionize your thoughts about prospect and customer communications.  I don't usually speak in hyperbole, but in this case I will make an exception.
After these two, there are a initiatives like Marketing Calendar and general upgrades.  This is the window, I think/hope, to insert Forms 2.0.  I don't want to promise or say it's on the plan, because I don't want to jinx it or be wrong.  My goal is to start design in the spring and launch in the 2nd half of this year.

Keep the pressure on.  Get other people to "Like" this idea.  These votes matter ALOT.  Make sure other form ideas get consolidated here.

I want this feature as much as you do.  When we design it, I promise it will knock your socks off.
Not applicable
Thanks Glen. Reading updates like this is really reassuring. Can't wait for the enhancements you mentioned and seeing the Marketing Calendar and Forms 2.0 on the next roadmap. Just don't forget to keep us updated! After almost a year without a response, we start to lose hope that anyone is even listening.
Not applicable
Eric, I also want to give you huge props for your idea post. It's one of the most extensive and well organized ideas I've seen on the community. Really brings everything together.
Level 5
Not applicable
Big +1 on this. In terms of being able to roll out Marketo usage across our global teams, this is the bottleneck. We have 10 non-tech people capable of doing everything else, but the bottleneck is forms and form behavior. "You can fix it using javascript" just isn't an acceptable response any more when the whole point is supposed to be to allow marketing teams to free themselves from having to ask the IT team to build it.
Level 4
I couldn't agree more. Marketo needs to get this on the roadmap.
Not applicable
I end up pulling out the forms and placing them back in in some instances as HTML elements. In some cases it works and some it doesn't. At least that way I can structure it with a table or add spacing in a form (groundbreaking idea, I know).

As Nichole mentioned, the idea of creating a fluid opt-in/preferences process is an absolute joke for how much the software costs. As soon as you start thinking about usability and what makes sense to a user, you're already thinking beyond Marketo's form capabilites.

A very simple update that could make a world of difference would be to allow ID's or classes to be added to fields and labels within the field specific form properties. That way it would be easier to single out form elements for positioning and style purposes using CSS.
Level 5

If your goal is to be able to manipulate the forms using CSS, you really don't have to wait for Marketo to add the functinality to add IDs or classes to fiels and labels. They alreay have values that you could manipulate with CSS.

You can manipulate the CSS properties for things like:

li.mktfield {}
form.lpeRegForm label {  }
form.lpeRegForm ul
form.lpeRegForm li {  }

All you need to do is include a CSS reference on your HTML template file, and you could manipulate all the forms look and feel from a single place.

Before I get flamed by anyone because this should be an interface thing, in my defense I want to say that I am aware of that. I am only addressing the specific use case that Ben R brought up in the previous post. At the very least, there should be better documentation for al the "hacks" that we can do to override the current native assets.

I do a combination of CSS and jQuery to manipulate some things, but CSS alone can move things along pretty good.

Good luck,